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Poster: L.A. Women Date: Jan 7, 2008 1:13pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Jerry Question

"'ve assessed the blame for the bands lack of enthusiasm after Brents death on Garcia. I've felt that his addictions were self centered and hypocritical of his own position on the subject of drugs. I've felt that his poor performances were a result of those same selfish acts."

Come on, how many times can you play me+uncle without getting bored, I understand where your coming from but honestly
I am amazed he lasted that long. Sure its easy for the rest of the guy to slack off every now and then ( especially the drummers). Garcia had to be the focus, expected to deliever on a nightly basis playing in a rock improv band, that constantly played alot of the same songs for years.

I am sure he was bored as hell with alo't of that shit and wished he could take a brake, but obviously so many people depended on him to be out there. You don't think that kind of strain would only add to his drug use? Obviously.

All you have to do is listen to his side projects from those years to see that he had not lost the inspiration, he had just grown tired of the repetitive mundane nature of the Grateful Dead. I think what happened with Garcia and the Dead can be summed up with such a simple idea: Moderation.

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Poster: Earl B. Powell Date: Jan 7, 2008 1:44pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Jerry Question

I agree, and I think for most graybeards around here there is a consensus on those points. I guess the point I was attempting to reach is where do you draw the line personally in your thoughts about the man?

I had no idea what a crushing blow his loss would be to me, until it happened. (Even as expected as it was.) Whether it's the fact that I'm aging way too rapidly, or just plain sentimental, I believe there has always been an emotional investment with the music and the man. (Not unlike the way I felt about Mickey Mantle as a childhood hero.)

...So even as the truth becomes more plain about Garcia's many faults, I still have hero/icon/idol thing left to deal with on a personal level. (And this is not unlike the unfinished business I've had with putting my father to rest, even though it's been over 20 years ago.)

....so is it strictly the music, or was there something about the man that struck a nerve on a different plane? Something unsettled and not quite right?

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Poster: skuzzlebutt Date: Jan 8, 2008 1:27pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Jerry Question

Truth be told, I've never had much difficulty separating the art from the artist, even in Jerry's case, though I'm guessing I'm party of a tiny minority here. What I think about his addictions, his failings as a parent or his shortcomings in the personal grooming department is irrelevant.

I stopped attending Dead shows in 1991, for a variety of reasons, and during the years immediately before and after his passing I really wasn't even listening to the Dead or other Jerry-related outfits very often. When I heard the news I was shocked, but hardly surprised. Less surprising still are the more lurid details of the man's personal life that, as part of a cottage industry, have steadily trickled out since his death.

I think it’s entirely possible to embrace the music and be completely enthralled with Garcia’s approach to the creative process without constructing some imaginary bridge into an imagined version of his psyche. At the same time it’s clear that for many people Jerry eventually represented something far larger than he ever intended- indeed, his self-effacing wit and benevolent (from outside appearances) nature made him the ideal canvass on which to project their own ideals. For them, the art and the process are completely indivisible from the perceived persona. On a very personal level, these people felt as if they actually “knew” Jerry, and thus now find themselves in the rather absurd position of “forgiving” him for various transgressions - transgressions that are only verified second or third-hand and even if true had no bearing or impact on our lives whatsoever. But they didn’t know him- only know how his art and his performances made them feel.

Apologies if this comes off as a little snippy or harsh- I think I’ve just grown very jaded and guarded against hero worship in my advancing age.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Jan 7, 2008 2:19pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Jerry Question

All valid and significant points made above. I would only add that when you listen to young Jerry, in the interviews and books, you find an appealing, iconoclasitc rebel that has great energy coupled with cynicism that I can relate to.

I shudder to think of all my misteps and mistatements coming back to haunt me if made in the public domain. Sure, he could come off as a bad father (and was, by most accounts), but providing the energy and drive that he did behind so many creative projects, I think it only reasonable to forgive him those, as most of us do. On the whole, I think that his contributions overcome his flaws, but that is the biased perspective of a fan. That's the trouble with this evaluation: all of us are making it in that domain, and how different would it be if we were a daughter? I would never question that perspective.

Bottom line, though, Earl, I would say that you should rest easy with the contradictions and complexities of it all, which only grow worse with age. We were all so much younger then, but we are older than that now.

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Poster: headgdhead Date: Jan 8, 2008 5:49am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Jerry Question

To me all his short comings just make him more human.

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Poster: JodyC Date: Jan 7, 2008 7:09pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Jerry Question

nicely said la woman

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